Breakdown of Klitchko vs. Maskaev (if they fight)

12.01.07 - By Ted Sares: If Wladimir Klitschko faces Oleg Maskaev instead of Ray Austin (and there is now some talk this might occur), it will it be a virtual repeat of the Brock blow out. Let's break it down. Size: Unlike Austin, Oleg will not see eye to eye with Klitschko and will weigh somewhat less. The Russian has an 79' reach while Dr. Steel hammer has an 81' span. The "Big O" is 6' 3. Wladimir is an imposing 6'6." Size favors Klitchko, though both are hard bodied men. Still, Wlad's elongated and heavily veined muscles make for great jackhammer power. Edge to Klitchko..

Record: Maskaev, 34-5 with 26 ko's. Wladimir is 47-3 with 42 ko's and a great ko percentage of 84%. Oleg's is not bad either and he is known for having great power. Both have enjoyed clean one-punch icings. But edge to Klitchko, who was an Olympic Gold Medal winner.

Quality of Opposition: Clear edge for Klitchko. Oleg has knocked out former WBO Heavyweight challenger Derrick Jefferson, Courage Tshabalala, former contender Alex Stewart and former WBC Heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. (twice),

But if a won-lost tally of Klitchko's opponents were done, the results would be absolutely astounding. Most of his opponents had outstanding records coming in. Axel Schulz Phil Jackson, Cody Koch, Calvin Brock, Chris Byrd, Jameel McCline, Derrick Jefferson. Danell Nicholson, Eliseo Castillo, Samuel Peter and many more.

Common Opponents: Both have Ko'd Derrick Jefferson.

Style: As I have stated before, Manny Steward has helped to perfect a killing machine. Having watched The big Ukrainian dispatch Bryd and Brock in brutal fashion, I now believe "Dr. Steel Hammer" has become a Killer Robot type. He uses a simple recipe. Figure out your opponent's style, adjust accordingly, shift into automatic and execute. For Klit, this usually means punishing jabs with increasing volume and then a straight sledgehammer right down the pipe. Sometimes a nice hook, preferably to the body, is thrown in to keep an opponent off stride. His one-two is superb and his ability to keep his opponents away by using his superior size is improving as well, though he sometimes has a habit of clinching too much. If he does clinch, he should use it as an opportunity to do some damaging body work.

"The Big O" is not a multi-dimensional fighter, is slow and sometimes plods. He relies on his considerable power but if he connects, he can turn things around quickly. Like Klitchko, he has good focus and like Klitchko, he is an excellent closer..

Edge in power to the Doctor and big overall edge in style to him.

Chin: Oleg is noted for having a suspicious chin and this was very much in evidence in his ko losses to Oliver McCall, David Tua, Kirk Johnson (a particularly concussive one), "Goofie" Whitaker (for God's sakes) and Corey Sanders (another brutal one). Both have been decked; both have been stopped, but Wlad has never been iced in the manner of Oleg. For once, Wlad gets the nod in the chin department.

AGE: Wladimir is 31, Oleg is 37. But Wladimir is getting just a tad long in the tooth in ring age. He has had a long boxing career (amateur and professional). Still, he is far from growing "old overnight."

Conditioning and stamina: Both fighters will be fit and ready. Questions still linger about Klitchko but I think they are behind him.

Intangibles: If the fight takes place, Oleg will be in great shape. It will be a big pay day and he knows it could lead to others. Klitchko must be ready and stay within himself (i.e., focused) at all times. He also needs a better cut man in his corner. His symbiosis with Manny gets better and better. Victor Valle Junior has done a solid job with the "Big O," but clearly he is no Manny Steward.

Big edge to Wlad.

Outcome: Dr. Steel Hammer will feel out the plodding, one dimensional Oleg early and then come up with his plan of execution which will be to pick up the pace in the 3rd and 4rth with an increasing number of stiff jabs and an occasional straight right and maybe a hook thrown in for good measure. The jabs will slow the Russian down. He may stun Klitchko with a right of his own and do some decent work in the clinches, but the big Ukrainian will remain focused and fight through it. If he doesn't, he will be knocked out, for once Maskaev has his man hurt, he can move in for the kill as adroitly as anyone. But I don't see that happening here.

Klitchko will begin executing his plan by greatly increasing the number and intensity of jabs in the 5th (maybe even fifty or more) prepping Maskaev for the kill. In the 7th and final round, Wladimir will execute. His high volume of punishing jabs and right crosses will have taken a heavy toll on the game Oleg who will not see the brutal and concussive final right coming down the pipe. When it lands, The Big O will have suffered his sixth ko loss.

Exciting for as long as it lasts.

Article posted on 13.01.2007

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